Shouldn't Press Releases be identified as such in newspapers? Texans Wearing PinkSomervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas

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Shouldn't Press Releases be identified as such in newspapers? Texans Wearing Pink

11 May 2019 at 2:51:46 PM

Saw a press release that was sent out by Texas Health and Human Services about women wearing pink next week. This appears to by funded by the Texas Legislature and its marketing budget for HHSC. Here, for example, is a report from 2018 on the family planning programs from Center for Public Policy Priorities. 

HHSC dramatically increased spending on Healthy Texas Women (HTW) marketing and outreach starting at the end of FY 2016, spending $2.5 million a year in 2016 and 2017 as well as allocating $1 million a year in both 2018 and 2019. The 2016-17 marketing campaign included ads that appeared on billboards, busses, radio, television, online, and elsewhere. To compare, when the original Women’s Health Program in Texas operated as a Medicaid waiver program from 2007-2012, the annual marketing budget was just $50,000 a year and paid for outreach materials like posters and brochures. 

Of course, that is part of the outreach being done by encouraging women to wear pink.If a newspaper decides to write an article from a press release, shouldn't it link to the original press release or otherwise indicate that the information is a press release and not news? (Same thing with "special report" or "special to" when it comes from a press release, which quite often can be self-serving and put out to slant in a particular direction) People deserve to know from whence information arises and failing to identify articles as press releases does a disservice to thosw who may want to sort out what information is getting money to market certain views. 

  Texas Freedom Network's views about it. 

...while TFN and our partners kept raising the alarm about Heidi Group’s incompetence and failure, HHS continued to issue contracts and direct millions of dollars to the group until last fall. Why? It’s hard not to think the reason is that Everett is a prominent anti-abortion activist with key ties to the state’s anti-abortion Republican leaders and funders.

Keep in mind that the state initiated the Family Planning Program and Healthy Texas Women after lawmakers made the strictly political decision to eliminate state funding for non-abortion health care services for women provided by Planned Parenthood. Eliminating funding for those Planned Parenthood services led to a significant decrease in access to state health programs for low-income Texans. Then HHS compounded the problem by directing millions of taxpayer dollars to the incompetent Heidi Group, which had a lot of experience advocating against abortion but little to no experience providing real health care services.

Now HHS wants everyone to wear pink to show their support for women’s health. Well, yes, let’s all wear pink. But we would prefer having state HHS officials (and the elected officials who appoint them) who actually seem to care more about promoting women’s health than anti-abortion politics.

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